Round-Up: The National Book Awards, Bob Dylan to Miss Nobel Ceremony, and Zadie Smith’s SWING TIME

National Book Award medal

From the National Book Award winners to Zadie Smith’s newest novel, here are last week’s biggest literary headlines:

  • The 67th annual National Book Awards ceremony took place November 16. The winners included Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad for fiction, Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America for nonfiction, Daniel Borzutzky’s The Performance of Being Human for poetry, and John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell’s March: Book Three for young people’s literature. The National Book Foundation’s Literarian Award went to Cave Canem, a nonprofit group that works to promote the careers of black poets.
  • Bob Dylan has officially announced that he will not attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony on December 10. This follows several weeks of confusion as Dylan refused to take calls from academy members and made no mention of the award. In an interview on October 28, Dylan said that he was accepting the award and that it was an amazing announcement. The news that Dylan would not be attending the ceremony came from the academy’s website and cited pre-existing commitments as the reason he could not travel to Stockholm.
  • Zadie Smith’s newly released novel Swing Time will be adapted for the small screen. The production company Baby Cow acquired the rights and will develop the show. Smith will adapt the novel herself, alongside Nick Laird. Swing Time was released on November 15 and is about two girls who grow up together and want to be dancers. It moves between northwest London and west Africa and explores themes of friendship, music, and identity.

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